December 17, 2008 / 5:38 AM / 10 years ago

Two arrested for throwing eggs at China flag: paper

BEIJING (Reuters) - Two Chinese men face possible jail terms for throwing eggs at the national flag at a square in the southwest city of Chongqing, local media reported, as China frets about possible instability amid the economic downturn.

The men also threw eggs at the flags of the Communist Party of China and the People’s Liberation Army at the square, a monument to those who died in China’s communist revolution, the Chongqing Times said.

Under China’s National Flag Law, the two face possible jail terms of up to three years.

Zhang Jingzhi and Wen Tingyu were arrested on December 1 and 2 respectively after the “seriously political case” on the evening of November 23, the newspaper said.

It did not give details of the egg attack or a reason for the delay in reporting it.

China is worried that the thousands of factories shutting or laying off workers, especially along the export-dependent coast, could lead to unrest if the unemployed, swollen by college graduates unable to find work, hit the streets, threatening one-Party rule.

Three men were jailed for terms up to life for throwing eggs at Chairman Mao Zedong’s portrait on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square during pro-democracy student demonstrations that were crushed by the military in June 1989.

Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Nick Macfie

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